8.

The baby did not look like a normal baby upon further inspection. The normal cries of a human newborn were replaced with throaty growls. The baby had nearly black eyes that darted around the room as Dr. Tory held it up by its foot. It had no tuft of hair on its head. As Dr. Tory held it up to her face, the thing tried to swipe at her face. She dropped the baby, the bastard thing landing on its hands and feet, skittering around the room.

His Majesty wiped his eyes, turning his attention to the newborn climbing the walls. He got up, slowly making his way over to it, before grabbing it by the throat and staring at it in the eyes. The baby seemed to bark, His Majesty squeezed their throat a bit harder. It got quiet.

Eat,” he whispered, letting the newborn go. It skittered to the corpse of his wife, staring at her, looking back at His Majesty before devouring the Queen.

He kept his eyes staring at the wall, tears falling down his face as he tried to tune out the newborn feasting on his wife.

Dr. Tory stood horrified, watching this infant start to grow from a small baby to the size of a toddler about to age into childhood proper. It crunched through the Queen’s bones, tearing meat off her torso with its teeth, grabbing chunks of flesh from her thighs and shoving it into its mouth. When the “child” was satiated, all the was left was a pinky finger and an eyeball. His Majesty scooped up the eyeball, staring at the purple iris before popping it into his own mouth, the jelly spurting into his mouth. He forced himself to swallow.

He turned around, looking at the child sitting on the bed, covered in blood, full and satisfied. It looked at him, locking eyes.

His Majesty stared at his protégé, watching them fiddle with the expensive bottles filled with expensive wines as they waited for their meeting to start.

They were in a round room, windows on every wall, showing off the summer leaves of the tall trees that were outside. Birds flittered in and out of them, bees kissed the flowers that bloomed on them. His Majesty sat in a chair while his protégé continued to mess with the bottles across the room.

“Will you please stop fucking with those fucking bottles?” he hissed. His protégé smirked and mocked him silently, but did as they were told, crossing their arms and leaning against the wall.

The cherrywood door opened up, a woman strutting through, her heels clicking on the wood floor. She was almost as tall as he was, but due to age, she hunched over a bit. Her greying hair sat in a high bun, the tight coils peeking out, while she had straightened and re-curled a few locks of hair that framed her face. The contrast from her light blue eyes and dark skin made it look like she was glowing. She wore a long dark purple robe, with gold patterns sewn into the sleeves. She looked at both the protégé and His Majesty before smiling and bowing.

“It’s been so long, Your Majesty,” she said, holding a hand out to him. He took it, kissed it and shook it.

“It has, my dear, it has. The years have been most kind to you.”

She blushed and turned her head, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear.

“Thank you.”

She made her way to the protégé and held out her hand. The protégé looked at the hand, looked her in the eyes and then looked away. His Majesty rolled his eyes, getting up from his seat and slapping them on the back of the head.

“We talked about this,” he snarled.

“It’s alright!” his friend called out, eyes wide from the slap. “I wouldn’t want to shake my hand, either,” she joked, taking a seat behind her desk.

“Apologies, ma’am,” the protégé grumbled, rubbing the back of their head. She waved her hand, smiling at them.

“It’s no big deal, I promise.” She turned her attention back to His Majesty.

“I can have the people gathered by three in the afternoon in a few days. Do you need anything else aside from a change of clothes, like last time?”

His Majesty let out a genuine laugh. His protégé was surprised he could still laugh.

“I imagine you’ve done more work since my wedding.”

“Oh, of course. I’m surprised you didn’t see me when you went to see Sovereign Addam.”

“Yes, that was… Almost a mess,” he said, glaring at his protégé, who turned away to look out the window.

“Well, it was still good work, even if it almost failed.”

“Tell me about your last job?”

She let out a shy giggle, clasping her hands on the desk.

“The Kingston Cruise.”

His Majesty’s eyes grew wide as he sat forward.

The Kingston Cruise massacre took place two years prior. Nearly three thousand people died, trying to take refuge onto a ship as their city burned, but they all drowned.

“Immaculate,” he breathed. His protégé watched the woman, her sweet demeanor an obvious front to protect herself from people who didn’t know her. She stood up, straightened her clothing.

“I will show you to your quarters. I will be busy getting everything situated. By the time of address of the people, I will be gone. Work is never done, you know.”

“You are a very busy woman. Thank you for working with me in such short notice.”

“Anything for you, my King.”

Their quarters overlooked a pool that was a deep blue, fish the size of children swimming in it.

“Who is she?” the protégé asked when she left.

“She helped me and my wife plan the massacre of our families. I guess she liked doing it so much she made a career of it.”

The days that followed were quiet. The protégé sat brooding while His Majesty read from a book he hadn’t seen in decades. When the day of addressing the people arrived, she kept her promise. She was nowhere to be found, leaving a note on their breakfast stating she couldn’t wait for her next assignment from them.

The protégé nibbled on their food, staring at her handwriting. His Majesty didn’t look up from his book as he sipped his coffee.

“She’s never been married, you know. She’s not fond of men, but she is fond of other people.”

The protégé blinked, blushed and set the note down.

They arrived at the designated convention center an hour before His Majesty was to speak. Dressed in an elegant ruby red suit and head wrap, His Majesty walked onto the balcony a few minutes after three. The crowd of a few thousand cheered as he stepped forward.

“PEOPLE!” he cried out, raising his arms to silence them. As the crowd hushed, his protégé stood in his shadow, eyes going from dark dusk to pure darkness.

“I know what you heard about what happened in Palthory. And I just want you to know that… I have no regrets for doing it again.”

The crowd gasped as wings spread behind him. They started to panic, trying to leave, but the exits were locked and barred from the other side. The protégé took the air, swooping down and grabbing one of the citizens, taking a bite from their arm before dropping them. As the body exploded, people started to scream, failing to break open the door.
His Majesty laughed, his own wings spreading as he followed suit, eating the people that had praised him just a moment ago.

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